Water tables are excellent at providing calming sensory stimulation while facilitating cooperative play and improving understanding of cause and effect. They come in all shapes and sizes, which may leave some parents baffled as to which pick will offer their kids the safest, most dynamic fun. We took a deep dive into the best water tables for toddler to show you 10 great picks that will get them playing and learning. 

Our Top Picks

Step4 Water Table with Umbrella

Best Overall

Step3 Water Table with Umbrella

Childcraft Sand and Water Table

Upgrade Choice

Childcraft Sand and Water Table

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand

Best Budget Buy

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand

How to Pick the Best water tables for toddlers

1. Recommended Age

It’s always important to look at the recommended age range of a product you’re buying for your kids, because that range indicates whether the item will be safe for them to use and if they’ll be able to use it easily. Ease of use and safety are key factors in all products, but especially ones for children, so double check the age range before you buy.

2. Colors

If you’ve ever brought home the wrong color of anything, you already know why colors can be crucial in purchasing decisions for certain kids. It’s fair, as color is an important early way that kids establish identity, and fortunately there are water tables available in every color of the rainbow, so just keep your eye out. Color variations on single products can also come in handy here, so be aware of them.

3. Theme

Whether it’s pirate ships, mermaids or other fun concepts, most water tables designed for toddlers have a theme with at least a couple of accessories included that relate to that theme. If your child is particularly into one of those themes or has a themed play space, this can be pertinent information to know.

4. Size

Water tables come in sizes ranging from small to large – what you’re looking for is likely determined by the amount of space you have to spare in the area where you’re looking to use the table. If you don’t have a lot of room, there are plenty of compact options, but if you can spread out, there are some big, fun ones, too (please note that some tables MUST be used outside, problematic if you don’t have a space outdoors).

5. Accessories

Most water tables come with at least a few accessory play toys and items, but some have plenty. Without accessories, it’s not a lot different than a bathtub they can’t climb into – they’re a lot of the fun, so look for them to be present or be prepared to provide them if they’re not.

6. Material

Some materials are less porous and easier to clean than others. Hard, unbreakable plastic tends to be lightweight with rounded edges but sturdy and easy to clean and disinfect. Wooden models that are well finished are also high quality. Some manufacturers have tried to pass off tables made of less safe and durable stuff, so look for a table that’s made of hard plastic or finished wood.

The Winners

#1

Step2 Splish Splash Seas Water Table

Best Overall

Great for outdoor fun, the Step2 Water Table with Umbrella features a soothing natural blue and green color scheme with a palm tree accent. The slides let kids have fun putting the two figures into the water table, and the umbrella feature that’s unique to this model on our list keeps kiddos sheltered from bright sun rays (but it’s not a substitute for sunscreen). The table has a high height that’s good for younger kids but that they’ll still enjoy and use comfortably as they grow. A spinner lets kids experiment with water motion, and a convenient drain plug allows easy post-use cleanup.

Recommended Age: 18 months – 5 years
Colors: Blue, brown, green
Theme: Tropical island
Size: 27 x 42.2 x 30 inches
Accessories: 2 figures, slide, cups, spinner, umbrella
Material: Plastic

#2

Childcraft Sand and Water Table

Upgrade Choice

This simple, versatile play table has an extra durable wooden lacquered construction with a UV coated acrylic base that lifts out easily for dumping and washing. The Childcraft Sand and Water Table is a smaller pick that’s still very shareable because of it’s small shape, and it’s great indoors as long as it isn’t overfilled thanks to safe rolling wheels that help to avoid floor damage. It’s portable, versatile and a good way to engage in messy crafts and activities in a controlled environment that’s easy to clean.

Recommended Age: 2+
Colors: Wood tone
Theme: None
Size: 24 x 23 inches
Accessories: None
Material: Wood, acrylic

#3

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand and Water Table

Best Budget Buy

The Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand is a unique pick ideal for facilitating a combination of sand and water play for extra creative cooperative fun. Parents can cover one side of the table or let both sides be open at once depending on the activity. It’s a great size and shape for sharing, and the water tower creates a fun waterfall that can also be used to pour sand – they’ll love operating it, and doing so is beneficial to their hand-eye coordination. Once kids are done with use, it’s easy to drain and clean the tub of either sand OR water thanks to a convenient plug on the bottom.

Recommended Age: 2 – 5 years
Colors: Blue, green, yellow
Theme: Sand and water combo play
Size: 31 x 28.2 x 29.5 inches
Accessories: Water tower, cup, slide, spinner, shark, scoop, shovel/rake
Material: Plastic

#4

Funcorn Toys Bath Toy

Best Water Table Toys

The Funcorn Toys Bath Toy isn’t a water table, but it’s a great set for use with any of the water tables featured on our list. 3 fish, a starfish and a crab have convenient “hookable” plastic loops that kids can catch with the safe fishing rod or fishing net, both included. Both catching and scooping fish offers small motor skill development opportunities. The toys can (and should) be disinfected easily after water table use, and they come with a breathable mesh bag that’s ideal for drying and avoiding mildew. They’re a good pick to accompany a water table that doesn’t come with accessories, and they’re also great in the tub, at the beach or in the pool.

Recommended Age: 18 months +
Colors: Blue, green, orange, purple, yellow, pink
Theme: Undersea
Size: 10 x 8 x 2.6 inches
Accessories: Rod, net, 5 characters
Material: Plastic, netting

#5

Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship

Best Water Activity Table For Toddlers

Just the right size for toddlers, the adorable Little Tikes Anchors Away Pirate Ship table is a great shape for cooperative play, offering lots of room for multiple kids to access the water features. Accessories like a bucket, scoop, strainer, boat, shark, life preserver and pirates encourage kids to imagine and play creatively while also improving their small motor skills. There’s plenty of safe spinning features operated by pouring water into the pump or crow’s nest tower, and they’re great for teaching cause and effect. Kids will also love the spinning steering wheel and the anchor that raises and lowers.

Recommended Age: 2 – 6 years
Colors: Brown, white, blue, red
Theme: Pirates
Size: 40 x 29 x 38 inches
Accessories: Bucket, scoooper, strainer, boat, shark, life preserver, 2 pirates
Material: Plastic

#6

American Plastic Toys  Play Table

The frustration free assembly of this fun American Plastic Toys  Play Table takes only minutes, and both parents and kids will be happy with how quickly they’re playing once the toy is out of the box. Kids can merge sand and water playtime as well as engage in creative play with the two included boat toys. It’s good for improving small motor skills and encouraging storytelling. The included water tower feature that’s included may also be used to pour sand, but if you prefer to use water only, the sand area functions as a landing for boats to move neatly into the lake.

Recommended Age: 3 – 8 years
Colors: Blue and red
Theme: Sand and water boat play
Size: 26 x 24.375 x 25.75 inches
Accessories: 2 boats, pitcher, tower
Material: Plastic

#7

Step2 Splash Waterpark Water Table

The fun detachable tower of the Step2 Splash Waterpark Water Table features a bucket that lets kids use water to flip the diving board and catapult a diver into the pool. They can also operate a water wheel that helps them understand cause and effect as well as using the spinner to create swirls, move water and understand how it can be used to create power. There’s lots of room for kids to spread out while still playing cooperatively at this large table, and the drain plug at the bottom makes it very easy to clean out after use. 

Recommended Age: 18 months – 5 years
Colors: Beige, orange, blue, green, yellow
Theme: Diving
Size: 31.5 x 31.5 x 31
Accessories: Bucket, tower, spinner, 2 figured, catapult board, cup
Material: Plastic

#8

Little Tikes Spiralin' Seas Waterpark Table

The Little Tikes Spiralin Waterpark Table has a basin size and shape that makes it ideal for sharing. Kids can master the put and take aspect of small motor skills as they drop balls down the spiral tower into the lazy river, learning cause and effect from the motion and action. The water cup can be used to power the water wheels, as children will discover as they pour water into the wheel’s cups. The table is low to the ground with a stable base that makes it safe for toddlers, and the fun characters are also water squirters that can be fun in the tub or pool.

Recommended Age: 2 – 6 years
Colors: Blue, orange, beige
Theme: Undersea
Size: 29 x 29.5 x 31.5 inches
Accessories: 1 water cup, 5 characters
Material: Plastic

#9

The Little Tikes Garden Table Play Set

Featuring a cute garden theme, the  The Little Tikes Garden Table Play Set offers a watering can, rake, flowers, pots, soil trays and more all in a durable plastic construction that’s safe for kids. The sturdy table can hold water, sand or soil for sensory type. The shape of the table encourages cooperative play by making room for multiple kids, and the lid to the table can be folded over half in order to create a flat surface for kids to use for toys, snacks, crafts or anything else. It has a cheerful green design that fits right into any backyard.

Recommended Age: 18 months – 5 years
Colors: Green, blue, yellow, purple
Theme: Garden
Size: 22.6 x 13.8 x 21.3 inches
Accessories: Rake, pots, flowers, soil discs, shovel, soil tray, sifter
Material: Plastic

#10

Simplay3 Indoor/Outdoor Activity Storage

Featuring dual bins perfect for sand, water, storage and more, the Simplay3 Indoor/Outdoor Activity Storage is a multi-purpose and versatile table in unexpected and helpful ways. In storage, two bins are covered by a securely fitting lid. When the lid is removed, the two bins pull away and the lid can be reattached to the bins’ opposite sides to form a sturdy table with cup holders for snack time. It’s a good pick for all seasons – kids can have a sand bin and a water bun outside in the summer, while having an arts and crafts bin and a blocks bin inside during the winter. 

Recommended Age: 2+
Colors: Blue, green, beige
Theme: Multipurpose
Size: 21 x 28 x 19 inches
Accessories: None
Material: Plastic

FAQs: All you need to know

Q Are water tables a safe activity for toddlers?

A Absolutely, as long as parents are providing the level of supervision required for toddlers to use the toy safely. While a child could technically immerse their face in some tables, a parent or guardian would and should be there to see them attempting to do that well before they succeeded.

Q How can parents be sure that the water in their child’s water table is clean?

Any time there’s standing water, the potential for bacterial growth exists. That said, it’s very possible to make sure that your child’s sensory table stays safe by following some simple guidelines. All children or adults who use the table must do so with clean hands and clean toys, which should be disinfected before and after use. If a toy goes in a child’s mouth, it must not go in the water table. Finally, water should be drained after every use, and the table itself disinfected.

Q How is water play beneficial to toddlers?

A Water play has many benefits for children. It can offer calming sensory therapy, facilitate social play, boost understanding of cause and effect, enhance language development and improve science and math learning abilities.

Quick Decision

Step4 Water Table with Umbrella – Best Overall
The cheerful umbrella offers kids some extra protection from the sun

Childcraft Sand and Water Table – Upgrade Choice
It’s versatile and portable with wheels that make it easy on indoor floors

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay Sand – Best Budget Buy
This table combines sand and water play brilliantly with easy clean up at a low price

TODDLER WATER ACTIVITIES AT HOME

If you’re looking for some fun and easy toddler water activities to do at home, check out our list of 9 fun picks that will make a splash.

Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

Scroll to Top